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Maldives parliamentary committee signs off on controversial civil service amendment

Mohamed Visham
20 June 2016, MVT 14:50
Some civil servants pictured outside the main government office building 'Velaanaage' in the capital Male. MIHAARU PHOTO/NISHAN ALI
Mohamed Visham
20 June 2016, MVT 14:50

The parliamentary committee on Monday signed off on a government proposed amendment that seeks to give the authority to appoint and dismiss permanent secretaries to ministers.

The independent bodies' committee with pro-government majority voted in favour of the amendment which will now go back to the parliament floor.

Ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) MP Abdul Latheef Mohamed proposed the amendment saying that closer collaboration between ministers and civil servant heads would mean better service for the public.

Permanent secretaries are presently appointed directly by the civil service commission. But if the amendment is passed, ministers will have the authority to dismiss the permanent secretary of their respective ministry.

During the parliamentary debate on Monday, opposition lawmakers argued that the move was designed to politicize the entire civil service.

However, pro-government MPs insisted that the amendment would assist the public service sector and ensure quicker services for the people.

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